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Dustin LindenSmith

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review of jazz CD Notes by Coates

Jeremy Coates is an old high-school musician friend of mine. I have many fond memories of jamming and gigging with him playing bass and me on tenor or baritone sax. He and I cut our jazz eyeteeth together, learned how to improvise together, and kind of grew up musically together. One of my posse for life, that's for sure.

He just released a new CD, his first, and it features a ton of great compositions and some really fine playing, too. Listening to his CD makes me think to myself, "I can't believe this guy is the same guy I hung out with in high school. These tunes he wrote are great, and his own playing is also fantastic. What happened to that guy who used to hack through Real Book tunes with me in high school?"

I wrote up a short review for CDBaby.com, the site from which you can buy his CD. His page on CDBaby is here, Jeremy's own website is here, and I just put my favourite track from the CD online here (although you can also stream excerpts from the whole album at CDBaby). My [wholly unbiased!] review follows:
This is definitely an above-average debut CD from a highly-skilled bassist and composer. Coates slips easily between the roles of soloist, primary melodic instrument, and accompanist throughout each track, bringing in excellent renditions of his well-thought-out melodies on a wide array of bass guitars.

His compositions are also worthy of further note. His traditional jazz roots are clearly evident in his tunes and his soloing, but even his bebop melodies sound fresh when set against such solid grooves and arrangements. Solo performance highlights include tracks with saxophonists Jim Brennan and Dave Camwell, as well as keyboardist Kristian Alexandrov. Indeed, don't miss the track called "1/2-Step Up" -- the groove is burnin' and so are the solos.
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